Over the past four years, James Holden has established himself as one of the pillars of the dance music community, having an impact of which many an older producer and DJ can but dream. He has a built a reputation for consistently raising the bar in the production stakes, consistently creating beautiful and futuristic tracks and equally stunning remixes, which have become the mainstay of the sets of DJs are varied as Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold and Tiesto, and Digweed and Sasha, with who James co-produced "Bloodlock" for the "Airdrawndagger" album. As he builds a reputation for himself as distinguished a DJ as producer, his own DJ talents have taken him round the world and secured residencies at UK superclub Passion and Dutch super club Kremlin, All this, and he's still just twenty-three years of age.
Having been classically trained in both violin and piano from an early age by his father, James' interest turned from rock to dance music when he discovered the wonders of sequencers during school music lessons. Saving up for a PC and monitor speakers over the next few years, he had signed up to study for a maths degree at the Oxford University when his career as a dance music producer first took off. It was during this productive period that he came up with the now-classic "Horizons", the trance tune which first shot him to fame when Way out West DJ Nick Warren charted the then unknown 19 year old's cdr for three months. The track went on to be a Pete Tong's Essential new tune, was picked up by Sony's dance label offshoot INCredible, and recently featured in Mixmag's top 100 dance records of all-time.
Further singles "One for You" and "Solstice", along with various side projects (Ariane for Hope Recordings, Mainline with friends Hywel Dunn-Davies and Duncan Ellis for Bedrock and Ogenki Clinic with university friend Gwill Morris) compounded the young producer's reputation, as he gradually evolved his own unique sound. Drawing his influences from dub, lo-fi and ambient music and converting them into a more dance floor-friendly format, his echo-drenched production treads the fine line between trance, deep house, progressive and techno.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a producer whose work constantly defies categorization, his latest move has been to sign his project with upcoming singer-songwriter Julie Thompson to legendary house label Loaded. The first single "Nothing" has become an international club hit and a follow-up due for release towards the end of the year. Other collaborations include the track "Bloodlock" for Sasha's "Airdrawndagger" artist album, an ongoing project with respected producers and good friends Brancaccio & Aisher, and a track with Perfecto's new master of melody, Leama which looks set to surprise. Having remixed the likes of New Order, he continues to cement his reputation as a remixer who puts his all into a track with his latest remix for Parlophone offshoot Mainline, a reworking of the classic "Fine Day", featuring the vocals of opus III's original singer Kirsty Hawkshaw.
The demand for James as a DJ has grown, with the knowledge that his DJing skills are equal to his production. He continues to develop touring Europe and the UK regularly. He will be returning to Asia for an extended tour throughout late summer, followed by extended tours through North America, South America and Australia, to support the release of his latest mix compilation for the Balance Series.
The summer will also see the first solo Holden single in over a year, with the release of "A Break in the Clouds" on his own imprint, Border Community. The label promises to merge the more leftfield sounds which James favours to listen to at home with a dance floor dynamic akin to what he usually plays in his dj sets. This concept is brought alive in the form of dancefloor and ambient mixes of "A Break in the Clouds." There will be plenty more surprises lined up for the future as james scouts around for the nu-breed of pioneering young producers whose career he'd just love to help kick start.